My main publishing announcements for this month are Linux User Developer 117 and Micro Mart 1125. Expect to see quite a lot from me in Linux User and Developer over the next couple of months. For now, issue 117 contains another four page step-by-step tutorial on the subject of self publishing a book using an excellent piece of software called LyX. LyX is the main “word processor” that I use for all my writing, and I seem to end up doing a feature on it every 18 months or so.
I also managed to get in a review of Oracle Linux 6.3. That was a tough one to rate as it’s practically a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and it’s difficult to know how to rate it.
I also did a review of the Nikon L310 bridge camera for Micro Mart. I hadn’t done much work for them of late, and it was nice to get back in touch.
As for moving house… It is proceeding, but rather slowly. Being in limbo in this respect is impacting my ability to work, but I’ve still got some stuff in the pipeline. I’m still not sure if I’m going to Replay in Manchester this year. I’d like to, but it’s beginning to look like it could coincide with the moving date.
Check out issue #116 of Linux User & Developer (August 2012) to see two of my tutorials. Both are step by step features, a format that I’m starting to get the hang of now.
The first four page tutorial deals with with customising the GNOME Shell. Personally, I haven’t been won over by the GNOME 3.0 interface, but to be fair to the developers, they have inserted a considerable framework for customisation by end users.
The second tutorial has a selection of tips for system rescue. Many of these tips can be carried out from standard Linux distributions, and others rely on SystemRescueCD, a live distro with an emphasis on system repair and maintenance.
Both tutorials were tough to write, but enjoyable, and I even learnt the odd new trick as I went along. I’ve got some more stuff coming up in later issues of the mag. In addition, I did a post for the website about the open sourcing of CDE. I got the inside scoop from a guy I met in RISC OS IRC channel. It’s a seedy world that I inhabit.
Anyway, back to the grindstone and another step-by-step.
Issue 98 of Linux User and Developer (March 2011) features my four page article on productivity applications for Linux. It’s basically a collection of tips and application recommendations. There are more details about the issue as a whole on the LU&D website. There should be a distro review from me in next month’s issue, and hopefully, you’ll see more from in the mag in the future. [Update: Actually, Russel has posted up the review, of Tiny Core Linux, in advance. Update #2: The mag, issue 99 has now been released.]
Recently, I did another guest post on my other main writing interest, gender politics. This article appears on A Voice For Men, the website of Paul Elam. The article is called OMG – Our Gender Is Being Oppressed By Language!, and it’s an attack on a technique that is commonly used in text books. It’s a good one for people interested in language, gender politics and/or men’s rights. Read more…
This week, Micro Mart is carrying my feature about four brands that lived on beyond the demise of the companies that established them. The article is entitled “And the Brand Played On: Four brands that died… and then lived again.” I delve into the history and subsequent resurection of the Acorn Computers, Apricot, Atari and Commodore brands. Naturally, due to the subject matter it’s an article with a bit of a retro flavour. It’s in issue 1050, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it.
I’m a bit late with the announcement, but this week’s Micro Mart contains my six page feature on the Arc. It’s in issue 1043. If you want a copy, you’ll have to hurry as it will be replaced by the latest issue on Thursday the 26th of Feb.
The article details the history of the machine with a buyers’ guide, a guide to emulators, and some other details about the platform. In addition, it’s accompanied by some near pornographic pictures of my beloved old Archimedes A310, inside and out. The focus of the article on the Arc as a retro platform rather than the current RISC OS scene.
Price £4.49 inc postage, see dedicated page for information on worldwide pricing. ISBN 978-0-9560813-1-5
Yay! After a very long wait, the hard copy of Tech Book 1 is now available. To buy a copy or for more information, click go to the book page. Update: Now available as a free e-book download.
For a cheap and cheerful side-project, this project certainly began to spiral out of control. Although it has taken months rather than weeks to complete, the experience wasn’t wasted as I’ve learnt a great deal at every stage. Hopefully, Tech Book 2, which I have already begun to compile, will be a much easier release.
Linux.com have published my latest article. It’s an overview of the latest version of LyX, the document editor that I use for most of my writing. As 1.6 is such a bumper release, I decided to focus on the new features, rather than introducing LyX. There are plenty of other articles that do that. Hope people enjoy it.
In other news, I’m just about to send off for the final proof copy of Tech Book 1. I’ll spend a week or so going over that with a pencil, and then it’s time to purchase the ISBN numbers and send it off to the printer.
A bit more Tech Book 1 news. Basically, it’s 90% finished and I’ve sent off for a proof copy. I’ve frozen the contents and anything that I write and retain the copyright on, from now on, will be added to Tech Book 2.
Tech Book 1 is a compilation of my published articles written in 2006, 2007 and the first half of 2008. It’s part vanity project, part promotional exercise and part self-publishing experiment. One of the downsides of being a freelancer is that it can be difficult to get the attention of commissioning editors. I’m hoping that a hard copy may work in situations in which email enquiries have proved ineffective. Read more…
At the moment I’m working on a little side project. It’s a not-for-profit, print-on-demand book that re-bundles some of my old technology articles. I plan to use the book as a promotional device for my skills as a writer. For that reason, I’m editing the the articles to bring them up to my current standard. The working title for the book is Tech Book 1. Although it’s turning out to be a time consuming job, it has also been a great learning experience. It should be finished and ready in a couple of weeks.
All of the content is available on the Internet (see links on side menu) but these are slightly updated versions.
Please note, I’ll add a bit of older gender politics material from my other site but this isn’t the Gender Equivalence book that I have been working on for the last two and a half years. Work on that book is still in progress. Apart from anything else, the new project will serve as a dry run for the GE book as might still be doing that as a self-published project.
I’ve just finished another article for OS News. This one is entitled “I’m glad that IBM declined to release the OS/2 source”. I’m just calling things as I see them but I’m going to end up with a reputation as a miserable git with the OS News readership I’m just the doctor, I didn’t make the needle sharp. I’ll link to it on the side bar when it’s posted. [update click here to read it online] Read more…